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1912832 tn?1322188354

Is PVC's really just anxiety??? really???

Ok, I know we all ask this over and over. But your tests come out normal.. blood test normal.. doctor say's your normal.. your pottassium, magnisium, ect normal on blood test.. soooooo now we are at our PVC's are due to stress? and anxiety? thats all it is?

I get having anxiety and having a palp here and there. But for us.. like me, who get one every 5 minutes alllll dayyyy longggg... that is anxiety??? really!??.. thats amazing to me, and upsetting. to realize.

I remember I followed the casey anthony trial. ANd AT THIS TIME I had no pvc's for months and month and months.. maybe one every now and then, this was my " normal" time. .. They were about to read the verdict. and it was second away... the jury came in.. she stood up... annnnnddd WHAM I got Pvc after PVc, skip beat, skip, skip, skip, I was thinkiing OMG.. wow, this is too much anticipation and excitment for me!! the anxiety of the verdict gave me like 5 PVC's in a row! So with that, can I say .. " yes.. that was PVC's from anxiety??..

SO now, that I've had about 3 weeks straight of PVC's all day every day. ( calming some when I am sitting still..) and increasing when I'm moving around... Can I assume these too, although 1000times worse is also ... ANXIETY??

I want to believe that anxiety can give you months of palps all day long, so that I don't have to continue to be ready to call 911, or prepare myself that any second my heart is going to trip out and I'm going to die any second. Or the Cardiologist is going to call me and give me the bad news any day that I have heart disease, or some fatal heart condition at 34... But in my mind.. I still keep thinking the worse.

The Doctor does an EKG= normal ( I think .. " but it didn't palp during it.. so he didn't see)
The doctor draws blood = normal ( I think.. Ok, so my blood is normal but that doesn't mean my heart is ok)
The doctor see's the PVC's on Holter..= benign PVC's ( I think.. well these are benign but whats causing them could be fatal! like heart disease.. or maybe they will go from benign now.. to dangerous tomorrow!!)
The doctor does a echocardiogram.. ( hasn't given me results yet, but also hasnt called me to tell me anything bad.. ( I think.. omg I'm dying of anticipation.. what if it shows something wrong with my heart??? my echo 10 years ago was normal.. and another 6 years ago.. but maybe now its totally abnormal!!)
The doctor say's we can also do a stress test " to ease my mind" ( I think.. he just wants to do it because he too thinks maybe I'm dying but doesn't want to freak me out...)...

UGH.. I hate my mind
61 Responses
221122 tn?1323011265
I think the excitement release adrenaline, which caused the PVCs to start, which scared you, which released more adrenaline, which caused more PVCs, etc.  This is a nasty and vicious cycle.  You may say, "well, there are times I'm not feeling excited, but they are still there!"  That is true, but the adrenaline kicks your heart in the butt and makes it "irritable."  

Your doctor doesn't think you're dying.  He really doesn't.  I worked in cardiac critical care.  I know what dying of heart arrhythmias presents like and this isn't it.  Trust me.  If we die of these, we will never know it.
Avatar universal
Seriously I feel your pain. I went to my EP today. I have had years of this stuff and it just wears you down, I know. If you have the tests done then you are not going to die. This is more common than what you think. Two girls I work with have had PACs PVCs in the past two months. One had them for six weeks up to the day her daughter got married (Stress) and the other had them for five weeks I guess because of female stuff.  Anxiety is a huge trigger! I dont know why a heart doc will NEVER prescribe anxiety meds though...hmmmm. I really think you should get any test done to rule out some serious prob, because in your mind you are thinking you have some serious prob. Its the only way to convince YOU.  I know there are meds to ease your mind and there are meds to ease the palps like a beta blocker or flecainide. My PAC's that started four weeks ago (every flippin 4th and 5th beat non-stop)are now triggering SVT ev freakin night! My pulse is all ovr the flippin place and the doc tells me today to not worry about it!!!!  Somebody just knock me in the head.  ps my echo today...perfect, my blood...perfect I dont get it either.  During doc visit no palps. ast saturday I talked one of our ambulance drivers into giving me an EKG it showed the PAC's but during that time the in and out of SVT stopped. Drove back home started again. Are we all freaking crazy?
1903111 tn?1333213054
Anxiety plays a big role in my arrythmia.
I have tried valium and zanax for anxiety. It helps the anxiety but it does not prevent svt runs.
Since finding out about what all my weird beats are and yes ... all my tests are "normal" I am still nervous and anxious at times.
I do go to counselor and she said that my big svt runs have caused trauma and I have developed fears because of them.  You see I almost black out when they are pronged and fast - svt 's. Finally caught one on a holter monitor. When they first come on it feels like anxiety - they are just horrible!
As I work on letting go and notice when I feel peaceful and content (rarely)  I notice it ( instead of my health concerns ) and go ahhhh I am
noticing this peace and I like it and none of my life circumstances have changed. Just my thoughts.  Most of the time I feel like a tightly wound ball of something!
Earlier today my teenager called me to bring his basketball shoes to school. I felt my heart skip a beat and had that sinking feeling inside. Stress
and adrennaline- cause I resented him for inconveniencing my schedule.
Yes, stress makes EVERYTHING worse.
Also- the metaprolol seems to help-  somehow it blocks the adrenaline from getting to the heart. I have been on it for a month. I have read it is also used to treat anxiety.
Hang in there...  Really !... It will get better.
1569985 tn?1328247482
I am not trying to minimize this is any way, I have Afib, pac's and pvc's. I know how anxious it can make you, how hard it is to think of anything else when your heart is acting up.  One thing that might help is to try not letting your imagination run away with you.  Trust that your doctor would tell you if you had a serious problem.  If you'd feel better, get another opinion.  But going down that road of imagining "what if" is not a good idea.  It can make you crazy.  It is not always going to work, but try to focus on anything positive that you can, i.e., you're not in the hospital.   You can get a handle on this.  Be brave and keep searching for answers and exploring all the avenues you can to get through this.  I just had an incident today where we were supposed to attend a dinner, but the weather was bad, I can't walk far in the cold, etc., until my heart started acting up.  I finally decided just not to go.  I really hated to miss out, but can't always have what we want.  Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.
1670856 tn?1316773768
I still havent figured out the secret of pvc's, but i must admit that i have not had them as often as i used to since i started on some new meds. (stating i been on them a while now)- 3 weeks with 50mg -3 weeks 100mg and now on 150- (think me and the doc are taking it slowly up to the 200mg. )

But yeah..... Of course there are good periods and bad periods, so cant really conclude anything yet.
Im far from cured from my anxiety and the throughts that follow. (been having stomach issues and now a sore throat and that alone gets my thoughts running)-
But maybe the meds have helped even some things out making me less prone to pvc's.
All in all of course ill share my discovery when i feel i can conclude some fact more precisely.
1871075 tn?1320258566
You said you magnesium has been tested however a regular blood test will not tell you anything
Avatar universal
What type of test is necessary to determine mag and other minerals?  In the hospital the blood is the only measure they have used on me.
995271 tn?1463924259
I view it like this.  The pacer cells in your heart that cause the PVCs are in and of themselves the root cause of a PVC.    Everything else aside, it's those cells that are acting up.  This is called "enhanced automaticity".

Tthere's a bunch of other stuff that can make these already twitchy cells even more twitchy.

That can be substances in your blood such as hormones, certain drugs, caffeine, electrolyte issues.

Or, it could be activity on your central nervous system, a.k.a. autonomic nervous system.  The CNS / ANS controls things like anxiety responses, digestion, endocrine control.  It even has nerves going to your heart telling it when to slow down or speed up.  People have noticed that when the CNS acts up in other areas, such as digestion issues, they also get palps.

So, my point is, anxiety is not a root cause.  It could be a contributing factor.  The root cause is enhanced automaticity.  Other stuff can contribute to making the root cause worse.  However, in the end, the PVCs are coming from heart cells.

Also I've never seen any scientific studies that show increased anxiety = increased palps.  All the evidence is anecdotal. Even if a doc is quoting this it's not based on science.  

Another thing I try to explain (I'm not sure if people can understand this) is that there are two types of anxiety in my opinion.  There's the appropriate anxiety that we all feel in bad situations.  It belongs there, we know it.  Then there's inappropriate anxiety.  This is the CNS actually triggering certain parts of anxiety responses for no reason at all.  It's like having a pinched nerve.  it's being stimulated but for the wrong reasons.   You might not even know it's going on.   My guess is that it's a form of what's called dysautonomia.  Dysautonomia means there's something wrong with the CNS / ANS.  It's not working right for some reason.   I firmly believe that anxiety disorders and panic disorder can be a type of dysautonomia in certain situations but that's not something that's every been proven.

I hope that makes sense.

TL;DR, heart cells are the root cause for ectopic beats, the condition is called "enhanced automaticity".  Other body functions, drugs, CNS tone, emotional awareness, or chemicals can aggravate the cells to make it worse.
1912832 tn?1322188354
RNrita.. I love you! lol. YOur always so reassuring and comforting. Yes., I called my cardiologist.. the nurse told me he was reviewing my Echo.. and that he would send me a letter via mail.. I thought.. GEez.. I hope I don't get a letter in the mail saying hey.. yeah,.. you have CAD, or cardiomyaphathy or something like that... yikes..

I know., he keeps telling me I'm ok.. but he wouldn't take me up on my offer if he can come live with me and tell me I'm ok every minute of everyday.. go figure..!
1912832 tn?1322188354
Tsco.. Yes, I feel like If its my anxiety causing this.. than I am crazy. In the head for sure. .. I actually have my first psychiatrist apt tomorrow at 11am. I am covering my bases.. that if its not physical.. than I need to talk to someone .

Stress-- Check! got lots of that. Within the past three years I've lost a job, lost an apartment, credit went to hell, had viral meningitis which led to a CSF leak in my spine which I had to have a blood patch to fix which led to Vertigo which I still have today( and associate with omg its my heart causing dizziness).. To my dog passing away, to a horrible relationship and breakup.. to financial problems , bill collectors.. job issues..and to top it off a herniated disc in my back which is painful everyday. WHEW!!!! I'm exhausted rehashing all that in this paragraph.. sooooooooo yes. all the stress may have caught up with me.

But I've stopped working out.. because I don't want to increase PVC's, but I think.. duh you idiot.. hearts a muscle, if I work out maybe it will get slower and stronger.. maybe it will relieve stress. but I can't ! I'm to scared!

P>S. my cardiologist did prescribe an anti anxiety. Also atenolol, but I'm too scared to take it and keep trying natural ways to fix it. Like a stress relieving vitamin, ect... chamomile tea..
1912832 tn?1322188354
The hospital did a blood test that tested a bunch of stuff,.. RBC, WBC.. pottassium, mag, calcium.  and a bunch of other things. Then My cardiologist did the same testing for all that, thyroid, .. electrolytes.. a whole blood panel checking your blood cells, and other things. They said that if you had a virus or something affecting your heart.. it would show up.. or if you were low on Mag/ pott/ calcium.. it would show.. or if you had a thyroid issue creating palps it would show.. but mine was normal. Also blood tests cholesteral levers too
1912832 tn?1322188354

So if unappropriate anxiety( which I have in excess every single day) causes the cells that cause the pvc's to act up.. then wouldn't anxiety be something you can say "is" actually triggering them? or making them worse? I've had PVC's for over 10 years. I used to take an anti anxiety and they would go away.  I went years without ANY Pvc's at all.

I've had episodes where I'd get a skipped beat when I'm scared, or super excited.. and now that I'm getting them all the time.. I don't know.

But if almost everyone gets PVc's of some sort than are you concluding that almost everyone has these " twitchy nerves/cells"?

Avatar universal
Please re-read idood's post.   That's the info you need.

Anxiety is not what is causing your ectopic beats, but in my personal experience, it sure doesn't help when some of your heart's cells are already twitchy.

One thing is important: understanding the way the heart beats requires some study.  It is not rocket science, but you cannot--simply cannot--'get it' from a quick glance at anything on the internet.  To understand this, you will need a calm mind--and a solid quarter in a college physiology class.

We who have odd beats generally have an abnormality--but NOT a dangerous abnormality--in the timing of the way some of our heart cells fire.  The heart is extremely adaptable and versatile, and it simply adjusts to these strange beats by changing its own timing a little to compensate.  People like us feel these corrections in timing as PVCs or other types of rhythm, but even though they feel weird, they are generally neither dangerous nor even very significant.

Concentrating on the details of how they feel or where we feel them is for the most part completely pointless.  I hope your new therapist can help you understand and accept this.
Avatar universal
Maybe this will help you to understand. ALL people on this planet have PVCs (which are actually more often PACs). Most people are not aware of it, or if they are, they make no big deal of it and they just carrying on with their life. These premature beats are a 'back-up' system for the normal SA and AV Nodes in the heart. They are there to help keep your heart beating so they are actually a good thing! When you are stressed your body releases catacholamines into your bloodstream to prepare your body to fight or run; that's called the "Fight or Flight Response" so you will have many more premature beats kicking in to help protect you during times of stress.  
1912832 tn?1322188354
I understand what your saying.. but then why does my heart palpatate when I am extremely anxious more than when I'm laying down relaxing?

Also, why did I go 7 years with barely any, then suddenly get tons and tons? what would make them increase? why before I was 24 years old.. did I not feel any ever. ?

Just can't understand why people can get them bad. Then they go away at times.. or even years.. then come hit you full force suddenly with no changes to your body? why do they get worse and better if it has absolutely nothing to do with your anxiousness.. or stress levels?
1912832 tn?1322188354
@grendslori.. I understand that explaination more. As I understand that almost everyone has them, either cannot feel them, or feel one every now and again... as my dad say's he got them, my best friend has them spiratically, my uncle, my cousin, my sister in law, ect ect ect.. But.. nobody has admitted to me, or said that they have had them in the frequency mine have now become over the past 3 weeks. I feel up to 70 or more a day.

I know FOR A FACT, that my PVC's, not PAC's, As my doc told me I have Benign PVC's.. are definitely increased if I get excited, or really scared. Or my heartrate goes up. I know that for sure.

I just went so many years, almost a decade living fine with my spiratic ones. And now they are out of control.

So I know that a lot of people are saying no they are not connected to your anxiety disorder.. and recent huge amounts of stress your under.. but if now that , then I have to assume, that for some reason .. 3 weeks ago.  something went terribly wrong in my body, that have now made my spiratic pvc's to constant.. and it is permanant.. may get worse.. and that whatever changed them to worse is a new thing my body is dealing with.. this is what I've actually been fearing the last month.. that the reason for the increase is not anxiety but something worse
1912832 tn?1322188354
UPDATE after my psychiatrist apt. ..

So I quickly ran down my symtoms.. and my history with him.. and within 5 minutes told me that I have anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.. duh.! lol. .. and that the pvc's are part of my panic disorder 100%.

He said all the people telling me that no, its not anxiety.. its my SNS/ and CNS isn't functioning properly.. its the vagus nerve,.. its " twitchy cells" misfiring your heart before it is supposed to, ect ect ect.. he said " yes.. and thats all conected with anxiety. Your stress and anxiety is messing up the cells that control your heart beats.. and you CNS and SNS are all connected with anxiety and panic. ..

He asked me if I've taken a beta blocker, I said I was scared to, which would just up my anxiety levels to take the meds.. so he prescribed me a bit of a stronger anti anxiety and told me to talk to a counsilor on a regular basis to get my anxiety under control
1616038 tn?1315954103
Hi -

I have been reading through your posts. I have always believed that anxiety contributes to the intensity and frequency of ectopic beats. If you do your due diligence, you will find that many members of MedHelp suffer from varying forms of anxiety. The other consistent trigger seems to be adrenaline...when confronted with varying scenarios, emotions like anger, excitement, stress, nervousness etc, will cause an increase in adrenaline levels in the body, and consequently there may be more PVC/PAC activity...Exercise usually eliminates the ectopics as the heart rate increases, but it is common to feel some premature beats during cool down as the heart rate returns to a resting rate. However, I am not convinced that anxiety is the sole culprit. There are too many individuals who have been suffering from PVC/PAC activity for years, with no reprieve. There are certainly many possible causes and triggers that precipitate PVC activity. My assumption is that those who are more likely to worry about their health find it almost impossible to ignore the sensations of PVCs, and can begin to hyper focus on them...it is a viscous cycle. The immediate anxiety that occurs after/during bad episodes of PVC/PACs intensifies the problem. Over time, learning to accept the sensations, and believe that they are truly harmless, may well reduce the frequency with which they occur...My cardiologist believes that they will subside, and/or disappear over time, once we have taught ourselves to ignore the issue (that's what happened to him in his late 30's)...

I go through waves where the PVCs are really frequent, then days when I feel very few (maybe I don't notice?) . Regardless, I do believe that managing my anxiety regarding PVCs, and managing anxiety in general, will certain help curtail the problem...

Be well,
250051 tn?1328131130
Glad you were able to figure out what your cause was. Some of us even at our age (under 40) actually might have something wrong. For a few years when I was in my early 20's the doctors kept telling me that I had an anxiety disorder, then I had a heart attack and everyone all of a sudden want to do cardiac test. I am now in heart failure and getting worst. I would say it is better to be safe and have the serious stuff ruled out than to be sorry and have doctors treat you like a nutcase until you almost die. Just my 2 cents worth
Avatar universal
I never wanted to take an aspirin my whole life. But trust me try the drugs. It scares me too but it gets you going in the right track it gets this constant thought of "oh no there it goes again...whats it doing now....this is a different feeling....need a doc....need a hospital" out of your head! It's weird you said that about talking to someone I just today started looking for a psychiatrist. Sine being back on here and talking to people, readin,etc I thought maybe that would be a way to resolve things in me I dont understand. Im going to do it. Kiddo after reading your response it stressed me out so you have to be dealing with a lot of crap!. Everything changes every three months..everything so it will get better. I think being on here helps me a lot, just knowing i'm not alone.  ps I drink chamomile tea ev night, peppermint tea good also. Wish you the very best! Keep in touch
Avatar universal
Hi everyone, I have been havin pvcs for so many years,but for the last five months, it was all day and every other beat and one day they went away. Since last monday I have them again I dont know what to do anymore I haf see 3 cardiologist and EP and they tell me the same. You wont die your heart wont stop you r not gonna get a stroke and im tired of hearing the same.  They gave me betablkers I have four kinds and im scare to take them,but last night I was so bad that I had to take one and after that I fas feeling them every other beat I was so scare and ready to go to the er, but if I go they will not do anything and send me home like always.  Dont know wthat to do anymore. Im tired and I have a lot of anxiety,because of the pvcs. Not because the anxiety and then the pvcs. Helppppppppppp
1912832 tn?1322188354
Saimon. So you took the beta blocker and it made it worse? did they give you any anti anxiety meds? Maybe you should try one.

They last few days.. I've been more relaxed, and decided to not let the pvc's scare me as much, and to ignore them, and seriously.. they have dropped by 70% at least. IT absolutely HAS to do with anxiety. ..

Because I was going crazy with stress over them.. now I just decided to say F .. it. and I'm going to die then thats it.. I can't change that. I already did all the tests.. I did all I can.. and so far.. the past 3 days have been beter. Now yes.. yesterday I still got PVC's all day. But not as hard feeling. and not as frequent. Instead of feeling like 100 in the day, I felt maybe 20 to 30... and this morning so far none... and this is with NO pills at all. I do have an anti anxiety on hand in case I need one.

I don't know.. I just know that my psychiatrist, the hospital, my regular doctor.. and my cardiologist.,,, and many many people with the same thing all say the same thing. Its panic disorder. Panic disorder presents symptoms such as skipped beats and pvc's. And I'm beginning to believe them.
221122 tn?1323011265
I don't think there is another subject on the planet so beaten to death. We all do it.  I love how I feel so superior when mine aren't acting up, and then when they do, I turn into a vulnerable, pathetic excuse for a human....Okay, maybe not QUITE that bad, in front of people.  

Most of us got our anxiety AFTER the PVCs/PACs started, so now, yes, we have anxiety disorder.  Nice label.  Even that makes me feel stupid.  I am a nurse that takes care of people and alleviates cancer patient's fears (it used to be cardiac) every working day.  I do it well.  They have NO idea that sometimes I'd like to curl up into a fetal position, put my thumb in my mouth and shake...okay, maybe not that bad.

i have longed for the "normal" life.  What I have is a hidden one.  This is the ONLY place I am myself, sometimes the voice of reason, sometimes all gloom and doom.  But I'm still here after all these years.  

I'm def standing behind my mag and calcium regimen, though.  WORKS!  And all my electrolytes were always normal.  Maybe people with high anxiety, just need more?
Avatar universal
I would like to let you know that you are not alone. I am an RN that works in the ED and also suffers from PVC's. I smile when I see pts come in for "skipped heart beats", they have one every now and again. As I am running around getting their EKG, starting an IV, getting labs etc - I secretly am having 12 to 20 a minute!.

I don't think it is anxiety related, I think it is related to my hormones. i'm not quit at the menopause stage yet - but getting there!

I had them two years ago so bad, that I actually had pitting edema and a horrible cough.

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